In Egypt, Nuri, a teenage boy, falls in love with Mona - the woman his father will marry. Consumed with longing, Nuri wants to get his father out of the way - to take his place in Mona's heart. But when his father disappears, Nuri regrets what he wished for. Alone, he and Mona search desperately for the man they both love. Only for Nuri to discover a silence he cannot break and unimaginable secrets his father never wanted him to know.
- Back Cover Blurb
There are times when my father's absence is as heavy as a child sitting on my chest.
- First Sentence; Chapter 1
For my 'Memorable Moment' see My Thoughts below.
SOURCE ... An OCRG (Oxford Centre Reading Group) read.
READ FOR A CHALLENGE? ... No.
MY THOUGHTS ... One of those books perhaps best filed under 'Not a read for me'.
Alas with sentences like ...
Suddenly her beauty would look sorrowful: a fruit bruising in front of my eyes.
- Pg 149
.... I found that the night had wrapped us even tighter, coiled her bare thigh round my waist and pushed mine up between her legs. Like branches of a tree, each limb had found its natural way.
- Pg 152
I'm afraid I just found the prose all a bit, well, too flowery for my liking.
Not that the prose was the only thing that wasn't to my taste ...
Disappointed by the writing of the characters. That I found the female characters all a bit, well, meh! That I never felt I particularly got to know any of them (male or female). That Nuri in particular remained just beyond my grasp; that he never seemed to evolve in the gap between us meeting him as a boy (a boy I couldn't relate to it has to be said ... I mean it isn't your average twelve year who removes a thorn from a unknown woman's toe unbidden, is it?) and his graduating thirteen years later.
Frustrated by all of the aspects of the story that alluded me; the threads that just somehow fizzled out, the 'questions' that went unanswered ... come to think of it I don't know which was worse this or the questions that were never even addressed. Ultimately there were so many elements introduced and yet very little closure.
Quite frankly I became bored by what I perceived of Nuri's Oedipal relationship with his stepmother and, most of all, by the deaths and disappearances that enticed us on to chapters in which nothing much actually happened.
Then, then there's the ending. Was this the dramatic twist in the tale that had been hinted at throughout? Oh dear! Talk about an anti climax.